Do you care about the long term success of your business? Maybe market dominance is your ultimate goal?
Then take a step back, because obtaining a consistent flow of repeat customers is the only way to get the ball rolling. With existing customers spending 67% more than new customers, loyalty is a proverbial gold mine.
The good old ‘regulars’ are the beating heart of industry, providing stability and strength to any business model. At its core principles, business survives through keeping acquisition costs low and the lifetime value of a customer high.
Here are 4 fantastic tips that you should follow to ensure customers will be re-visiting your services for years to come:
Remember your customers
Sometimes the most simple details have the biggest impact. Many businesses make the mistake of forgetting all about the customer as soon as the transaction is completed.
The idea behind the ‘regular’ is based on familiarity, those who repeatedly invest themselves into the same business feel a sense of belonging to it. A good business should recognize this and make the extra effort to accommodate its customers, whether this is remembering their birthday, anniversary or regular orders.
All this goes a long way to show that you really care about building meaningful, trusted connections with your customer base.
Take a small client-facing profession such as a sole trading stonemason for example. It is in the masons’ interest to get to know their client in order to make them feel secure with their presence; having a stranger working on your house can be a nerve-racking process.
Succeeding in this opens many avenues for opportunities down the road. Word of mouth is key, by building connections with clients it increases chances of renewed contracts and recommendations to friends and neighbors.
The repeat customer is a valuable asset, treat them right and they will bring new customers to you.
Practice excellent customer service
Naturally, customer service is an important factor in retaining repeat customers. The way you connect beyond the point of sale goes a long way in your customers’ minds and demonstrates your specific care for individual needs.
An all too common mistake is to focus on new customers. Of course, bringing new faces through the door is exciting, but if you cannot hold onto them the venture will be in vain.
The key to great customer service is to treat everybody with the same degree of attention, whilst also tending to personal issues. Treating new customers in higher regard is a sure-fire way to cause customer churn and harm your business further down the road.
Providing an omnichannel experience for the customer is a great way to approach customer service and can be supported by numerous software packages. Take LiveAgent for instance, which blends communication with customers in one easily accessible platform, regardless of the channel used to originally send the message. This makes it easier for businesses to track the progression of conversation, ensuring that no customer is forgotten about.
The rest is on your back, successful customer relations has its routes based on consistent response times and listening skills.
Stay in contact
Great news you have just completed a sale, but the customer is walking out the door. How are you going to ensure that you’ll see them again? It takes infinitely more effort to gain a new customer than it does to retain an existing one.
Staying in regular contact whether this is through social media, email or any other medium is a sure-fire way to build a database of repeat customers.
The first step is to hook customers with a subscription to a newsletter. Simply by taking down their email address, you create a string of consistent promotional letters, perhaps relating to the customers buying habits, or informing them of a new service or collection that might be perfect for them.
The digital world has made it not just easy to establish communication channels via responders but also inexcusable to ignore. Thanks to constant quality of life updates to online store builders, you can now integrate email newsletter options into your own checkout page. Creating an effective platform for your business to create a tailored experience for your customers.
The consumer is looking to feel genuinely valued for the time they have given to your business. By targeting them with personalised promotions and updates, you are not only making customers a priority but also valuing their own individual uniqueness. It is also a key opportunity to get customers to follow your social media pages, thus involving them in your greater community and future projects.
Discount ladders and loyalty schemes
Attractive schemes give customers an incentive to return and added purpose to their recurring visits.
We have all come into contact with this form of marketing at one point or another. After visiting a store on a whim, we return home signed up to some brand new scheme, whether this is a loyalty card, prize draw or tiered programme.
I had my own recent experience at a local burrito bar, where I was given a laddered rewards card alongside my meal – and the first stage had even been filled in for me. Now I return for lunch every day to claim a free soda or side, and eventually a whole free large burrito with extra salsa verde.
Am I just a sucker for marketing? Maybe. Though the point stands, in a few days’ time I will be sitting in that bar holding a free burrito with a sense of achievement and a newfound investment in a business that I only visited on a whim.
Also, the digital age has allowed for some incredibly innovative loyalty schemes to be developed across the ecommerce industry. Take retailers such as The North Face for example, who have devised the VIPeak which allows customers to earn rewards in the form of a retreat to Nepal, in return for continued brand loyalty.
The loyalty programme can be the differentiating factor in a business and its nearest competitors. Giving consumers an opportunity to connect with a brand beyond the point of sale is why they return over and over again.
Holding onto customers is a business’s greatest responsibility — the consumer is famously flighty should they feel unwanted.
Follow each of these steps, from remembering names to entertaining with reward schemes and you’ll be well on your way to strengthening your marketing position and connection to the community as a whole.